Wind power is the conversion of wind energy
Wind energy is the kinetic energy of air in motion; see also wind power.Total wind energy flowing through an imaginary area A during the time t is:E = ½ m v2 = ½ v 2...
into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbine
A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy. If the mechanical energy is used to produce electricity, the device may be called a wind generator or wind charger. If the mechanical energy is used to drive machinery, such as for grinding grain or...
s to make electricity, windmill
A windmill is a machine which converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Originally windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. In the course of history the windmill was adapted to many other industrial uses. An important...
s for mechanical power, windpump
A windpump is a windmill used for pumping water, either as a source of fresh water from wells, or for draining low-lying areas of land. Once a common fixture on farms in semi-arid areas, windpumps are still used today where electric power is not available or too expensive.-History:Windmills were...
s for water pumping
The pumping of water is a basic and practical technique, far more practical than scooping it up with one's hands or lifting it in a hand-held bucket. This is true whether the water is drawn from a fresh source, moved to a needed location, purified, or used for irrigation, washing, or sewage...
Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from an area. Many agricultural soils need drainage to improve production or to manage water supplies.-Early history:...
, or sail
A sail is any type of surface intended to move a vessel, vehicle or rotor by being placed in a wind—in essence a propulsion wing. Sails are used in sailing.-History of sails:...
s to propel ships.
The total amount of economically extractable power available from the wind is considerably more than present human power use from all sources. At the end of 2010, worldwide nameplate capacity
Nameplate capacity, also known as the rated capacity, nominal capacity, installed capacity or maximum effect, refers to the intended technical full–load sustained output of a facility such as a power plant, a chemical plant, fuel plant, metal refinery, mine, and many others.For dispatchable power,...
of wind-powered generators was 197 gigawatts (GW).